Author Topic: Interesting Take on FI  (Read 974 times)

tyd450

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Interesting Take on FI
« on: February 07, 2019, 08:25:02 AM »
I love this guy's dry sense of humor and his funny take on FI.  He is a software engineer so he comes at it from that angle.  It is a lot of sarcasm but he actually does touch on a few deeper points that are worth considering IMO.

https://youtu.be/G6eVVrTjNcY

bacchi

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Re: Interesting Take on FI
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 09:43:24 AM »
1) He doesn't understand that the 4% rule includes inflation.
2) Working for a corporation isn't the only way to get health insurance (for now).
3) Like a lot of high earners, he discounts that living on $40k is pretty good money. Most Americans aren't living in Silly Valley making a Google tech lead's salary.
4) The "career path" defense of working has gotta be sarcasm, right? "As you're on the beach, and your classmates are getting promoted...." Hahahahaha.
5) No social status?! My friends won't respect me because I'm backpacking instead of being in a planning meeting at 9am? OMG!
6) Etc. I've seen enough.

He's criticizing FIRE from the position of someone who likes his career, his title, and his income. It has little bearing on those who don't care about career paths and know what the value of "enough" is.

Nothing new here.

tyd450

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Re: Interesting Take on FI
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2019, 11:18:34 AM »
1) He doesn't understand that the 4% rule includes inflation.
2) Working for a corporation isn't the only way to get health insurance (for now).
3) Like a lot of high earners, he discounts that living on $40k is pretty good money. Most Americans aren't living in Silly Valley making a Google tech lead's salary.
4) The "career path" defense of working has gotta be sarcasm, right? "As you're on the beach, and your classmates are getting promoted...." Hahahahaha.
5) No social status?! My friends won't respect me because I'm backpacking instead of being in a planning meeting at 9am? OMG!
6) Etc. I've seen enough.

He's criticizing FIRE from the position of someone who likes his career, his title, and his income. It has little bearing on those who don't care about career paths and know what the value of "enough" is.

Nothing new here.

I think you took this a little too seriously.  I think he made some good points overall.  I think we tend to glamorize the FIRE life a little too much sometimes.  He made a good point saying that anyone can be financially independent if you lower your standards enough.  Just have nothing and be homeless.  boom!  you are financially independent.  Everything in life is a trade-off.  a lot of people around here get so obsessed with obtaining the RE part of FIRE that they start to look at their job as a prison sentence.  I think it helps to realize that we all need nothing outside of the basic necessities for survival but we can choose to work in order to improve our situation past that point.  Me working right now isn't a prison sentence, it is something that I am choosing to do to improve my situation and work towards me goal.

Speaking for myself, I know that I sometimes have a hard time "enjoying the ride" or the "boring middle" and not wanting to just skip to the end of the ride when I am FI and RE.  This video just kind of spoke to me in a way that others didn't and made me realize that I can get carried away sometimes wanting to be FIRED at all costs.  So I thought I would share it.  I definitely LOLed when he said he was financially independent because he left his family and lives in that shed.  Also that his dog is financially independent. 

I just found his channel the other day so I don't know for sure, but I think he might actually be FIRED.  I know he doesn't work at google anymore, I think he might just do some freelance stuff.

JZinCO

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Re: Interesting Take on FI
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2019, 11:30:58 AM »
I think you took this a little too seriously.  I think he made some good points overall.  I think we tend to glamorize the FIRE life a little too much sometimes.  I think you mean life. You know that thing that people are always trying to make sure work doesn't consume (how many emails are in my work inbox about maintaining work/life balance). At least that's how I view FIRE: The ability to make a decision whether to do this job or that job or however many hours, or not work a job but work on yourself or for volunteer for others..He made a good point saying that anyone can be financially independent if you lower your standards enough.  Just have nothing and be homeless.  boom!  you are financially independent.  Everything in life is a trade-off.  Yeah. That sounds like a Pete thing to say: spend money where your values lie. If a dollar buying financial freedom means more, then save or invest. Otherwise buy that thing. He was clear that he likes to live in a very comfortable home for example. He also has an environmentalist motivation but he also makes it clear that he isn't a staunch minimalist. He just doesn't think that most consumerist behaviors actually add value (and are thus a net drag) a lot of people around here get so obsessed with obtaining the RE part of FIRE that they start to look at their job as a prison sentence.  It usually sounds like the other way around. FIRE attracts them because of low job satisfaction. I think it helps to realize that we all need nothing outside of the basic necessities for survival but we can choose to work in order to improve our situation past that point.  Me working right now isn't a prison sentence, it is something that I am choosing to do to improve my situation and work towards me goal. That's great that you love your current job. So do I. But do you have tenure at your job?

Speaking for myself, I know that I sometimes have a hard time "enjoying the ride" or the "boring middle" and not wanting to just skip to the end of the ride when I am FI and RE.  This video just kind of spoke to me in a way that others didn't and made me realize that I can get carried away sometimes wanting to be FIRED at all costs.  So I thought I would share it.  I definitely LOLed when he said he was financially independent because he left his family and lives in that shed.  Also that his dog is financially independent. 

I just found his channel the other day so I don't know for sure, but I think he might actually be FIRED.  I know he doesn't work at google anymore, I think he might just do some freelance stuff.
In other words I think you missed the point. By far the most common misinterpretation is that you are sacrificing now so you can sacrifice indefinitely.
For me FIRE as an aim is part of a purposeful evaluation of how money can or cannot contribute to creating 'the good life'. Given that, what situation would you rather be in: at your baseline level of happiness without alot invested/saved or at your baseline level of happiness with alot invested/saved? The longer you reach towards FIRE, the greater flexibility you have to choose the life you want to live.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 11:36:52 AM by JZinCO »

tyd450

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Re: Interesting Take on FI
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2019, 12:06:54 PM »
I think you took this a little too seriously.  I think he made some good points overall.  I think we tend to glamorize the FIRE life a little too much sometimes.  I think you mean life. You know that thing that people are always trying to make sure work doesn't consume (how many emails are in my work inbox about maintaining work/life balance). At least that's how I view FIRE: The ability to make a decision whether to do this job or that job or however many hours, or not work a job but work on yourself or for volunteer for others..He made a good point saying that anyone can be financially independent if you lower your standards enough.  Just have nothing and be homeless.  boom!  you are financially independent.  Everything in life is a trade-off.  Yeah. That sounds like a Pete thing to say: spend money where your values lie. If a dollar buying financial freedom means more, then save or invest. Otherwise buy that thing. He was clear that he likes to live in a very comfortable home for example. He also has an environmentalist motivation but he also makes it clear that he isn't a staunch minimalist. He just doesn't think that most consumerist behaviors actually add value (and are thus a net drag) a lot of people around here get so obsessed with obtaining the RE part of FIRE that they start to look at their job as a prison sentence.  It usually sounds like the other way around. FIRE attracts them because of low job satisfaction. I think it helps to realize that we all need nothing outside of the basic necessities for survival but we can choose to work in order to improve our situation past that point.  Me working right now isn't a prison sentence, it is something that I am choosing to do to improve my situation and work towards me goal. That's great that you love your current job. So do I. But do you have tenure at your job?

Speaking for myself, I know that I sometimes have a hard time "enjoying the ride" or the "boring middle" and not wanting to just skip to the end of the ride when I am FI and RE.  This video just kind of spoke to me in a way that others didn't and made me realize that I can get carried away sometimes wanting to be FIRED at all costs.  So I thought I would share it.  I definitely LOLed when he said he was financially independent because he left his family and lives in that shed.  Also that his dog is financially independent. 

I just found his channel the other day so I don't know for sure, but I think he might actually be FIRED.  I know he doesn't work at google anymore, I think he might just do some freelance stuff.
In other words I think you missed the point. By far the most common misinterpretation is that you are sacrificing now so you can sacrifice indefinitely.
For me FIRE as an aim is part of a purposeful evaluation of how money can or cannot contribute to creating 'the good life'. Given that, what situation would you rather be in: at your baseline level of happiness without alot invested/saved or at your baseline level of happiness with alot invested/saved? The longer you reach towards FIRE, the greater flexibility you have to choose the life you want to live.

Thanks for taking the time to reply, good insight overall and some of your comments definitely hit home for me.   I was just trying to share what I took from that video from my point of view after bacchi shared his opinion.

To respond to some of your replies:

You are right about it being the other way around.  Sort of... for me at least.  I started my career 11 years ago.  I had to grind for a few years and I didn't know any better.  Did the normal stuff a lot of us did.  I wasn't a total disaster by any means... I saved a little bit for retirement up to the match, I spent a little too much on a used car but I rented a modest place with a few guys so I saved some money there.  I went out a lot and had fun, splurged on a summer beach house with friends etc.  A few more years in to my career I had that "is it it?" moment.  Do I have to sit here in this office for 40 more years?  There has to be another way.  So I started looking into investments, found bogleheads forum, eventually stumbled upon MMM... this was 2012-2013.  I decided to go all in and here I am 6 years later.

I have a nice stash and could probably lean fire but I keep moving the goalposts.  I wouldn't say I like my job.  In fact, I hate it most days.  It is a dream job when compared to all other office type jobs but I just get sick of staring at a computer screen all day.  For a lot of people, they say that it gets easier to work the closer you get to FI because you don't "need the job" but I find myself getting more negative about things.  I feel myself trying to self-sabotage my career so I have an excuse to leave.  I day-dream about getting laid off because I don't think I will have the balls to resign myself.  So I have been trying to re-frame my mindset a bit and be more positive about things.  I can coast most days and get my work done but I find that I always feel happier when I am more engaged throughout the day and put in a "hard day's work". 

I went off on a big tangent there but I guess my point is that I found MMM because of job/life dissatisfaction but then I also kind of felt trapped again after I figured it all out and set my FIRE path.  So now I am trying to re-frame my mindset to be happy about working again for a little bit until I get to the finish line.

This just turned into my personal journal I guess but your comments really got me thinking about stuff, so thanks!

I think these next few years are going to be the best because we are finally done having kids and my wife is going to be staying home after we have our third child here in about a month.  I think we will finally be able to find our "groove" and focus on building the life we want to have now, and not putting it off in the future.

One of the mods here, Arebelspy made a comment once that I saved and look at every once in awhile to keep me on track:

"You can forget about FIRE, in a good way.  You can set everything automated (investing, etc.), get your savings rate super high, and stop focusing on FIRE, knowing you're on the right path, and it'll come eventually.  Then work on enjoying your life and improving yourself in the meantime.  Think about what you want your FIRE life to look like, and work on getting as many of those things in your life as possible now."

We have done a good job at the first part of that statement but now our focus is going to be on this second half:  "Then work on enjoying your life and improving yourself in the meantime.  Think about what you want your FIRE life to look like, and work on getting as many of those things in your life as possible now."

JZinCO

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Re: Interesting Take on FI
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2019, 12:58:53 PM »
tyd450 ,
Hope I wasn't too critical earlier. It's just, now that FIRE is in the mainstream discussion, I commonly read things that distill down to 'FIRE is a dumb idea, instead you should reevaluate your spending, save and invest more, improve your income (or don't if the tradeoff is worth it), and also focus on what makes you happy'. In other words, there are only so many ways to live a financially-secure life so I fail to see how FIRE is damningly worse than other personal finance approaches. Where I think the friction occurs is perhaps more that specific behaviors (like frugality), and attitudes that are correctly, or falsely, attributed to the FIRE community. But FIRE is just a mental model that is build on top of a set of equations.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. By the way, I didn't recognize the first time I read that you had said you are using your job to work towards a goal. That's amazing. I think alot of people are just working because.. that's how bills are paid. Having a goal in mind keeps everything more tolerable. Also, from what others on the forum have posted, I think it is commonplace to not put up with tiny work BS once you are closer to FI. I myself have become more apathetic and career driven (in a way that I don't want to do the things that might ensure a long, successful career. Now I just pursue building professional skillsets that I want to do because its what makes me happy at work).

I also think Arebelspy was correct. I hop back into thinking about FIRE whenever life circumstance change and necessitate a reevaluation. Otherwise I'm on autopilot. Personally, I'm the INTJ type so in every arena of my life I'm going to spend too much time planning and not enough time living. I think FIRE kind of selects for those types of people but it shouldn't reflect on the utility of the principle's behind FIRE. Therefore I reject the critique that FIRE emphasizes putting off today for tomorrow.